Student Vignettes

Gabriel Browning

About my research

As a part of Dr. Kristen Buck’s lab, I study the biogeochemical cycling of trace metals in the oceans, with specific focus on their organic speciation. My project uses humic substances, a terrestrial degradation product, as a model ligand to better understand the types of ligands that interact with and bind iron. Using electrochemical methods, I can assess what proportion of marine ligands behave similarly to humic substances in their interactions with iron and how they are distributed. The samples for my project are from GEOTRACES cruise GP16 in the eastern tropical South Pacific, stretching from the coast of Peru out into the South Pacific Gyre. As we continue to learn about what types of organic molecules bind with iron, we will gain a better picture of how iron cycles throughout the world’s oceans, which is important to understand because of the critical role that iron plays in controlling primary productivity in the ocean.


CMS has an awesome community in an up and coming city. Student success is valued, and there is a positive atmosphere throughout the entire college. Collaboration is encouraged within the college, with the hub of agencies in St. Petersburg (NOAA, USGS, FWRI, etc.), nationally, and internationally. CMS has a small school feel, but the science that it puts out compares with major oceanographic programs from around the country. It’s also great to live in a city that values the work that we do. St. Petersburg is extremely proud of all the cutting edge marine science research happening here at the college and at the surrounding agencies.

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